Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
You last visited December 8, 2016, 6:57 am
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

Iowa Powerball lottery winner recently filed for bankruptcy

PowerballPowerball: Iowa Powerball lottery winner recently filed for bankruptcy

Call it the miracle on 34th Street. When Hugh Allen Hawkins filed for bankruptcy last summer, he and his wife had $250 in cash left in bank accounts and $87,000 in credit card debt.

"And now today we have a big pile of money," he said Tuesday after an Iowa Lottery official handed him a check for $113.2 million, the largest prize ever won in the state.

Hawkins, owner of a modest home on 34th Street in Des Moines, is the mystery winner of the Dec. 14 Powerball jackpot.  His 19-day silence prompted people to suspiciously ask friends in the Beaverdale neighborhood, where the ticket was purchased, "Is it you?"

"I spent the better part of the week scratching my head and giggling," said Hawkins, 44, who didn't even tell his wife at first. "I haven't slept in 2 1/2 weeks."

Since the Powerball drawing, Hawkins, who is a real estate developer, has hired a team of legal, financial and public relations experts. Their advice included waiting until after Jan. 1 to claim the lump-sum payment of $54.8 million, thus postponing the $16.4 million tax bill until December 2006.

Hawkins laughingly said he expects people to bombard him with requests for money, but long-lost relatives and friends shouldn't bother to show up at the door of his $125,000 house.

The one-and-a-half-story Beaverdale brick is empty, still trimmed with Christmas lights and a wreath. Hawkins and his family - wife Cindy Schumacher, their daughter, Katie, 3, and son Alex, 6, and his son from a previous marriage, Colby, 12 - are living elsewhere.

And their old phone number, (515) 633-0929, "is dead forever," he said.

The couple intend to give gifts to family, buy a puppy, settle debts and help startup companies. "And there's definitely some luxury vacations in our future," said Hawkins, whose last vacation was a 15-day tour of Europe with his wife in 2002.

Some of the winnings will go to the Greater Des Moines Foundation and the Omaha Community Foundation, which will use it to aid nonprofit groups, and startup and "in-need" companies.

The couple will share with family - he has one brother; she has seven brothers and seven sisters.

Schumacher said they'll buy a car for her father, possibly a Cadillac, "although it might be hard to get him to take it."

Hawkins has a history of financial success and difficulty.

A Valley High School graduate, he studied at Northern Illinois, Northern Iowa and Iowa State universities, but left college before earning a degree to open a commercial drapery business.

Polk County court records filed in 1997, when Hawkins was more than $6,700 behind in child support payments to his ex-wife, Michelle, show he also owed roughly $22,250 to four credit card companies. He caught up with his child support obligations in 2004.

Lucky family: Hugh Hawkins, a 44-year-old businessman from Des Moines, appears at a news conference Tuesday with his wife, Cindy, their son Alex, 6, and daughter, Katie, 3. Hawkins decided to take a lump sum.Three years ago, when Hawkins was making his living selling cars for EuropeanMotorcars in Urbandale, his current wife, Cindy, decided to leave her job with a data processing company to stay home with the children. With their income cut in half, the couple burned through their 401(k) accounts and savings to pay living expenses, they said.

Hawkins went to work as a financial adviser for Merrill Lynch in 2004, but, according to court documents, was unemployed when the couple filed for bankruptcy in July 2005.

"It was just the inevitable," Schumacher said. "We put it off as long as we could."

Hawkins' and his wife's latest debt - about $14,000 to AT&T, $1,500 to Sam's Club and about $71,000 to six other credit cards - was wiped clean in October.

But they said they'd nonetheless like to arrange for repayment.

Hawkins, who now works for Omaha-based Metro Engineers, where he puts together commercial real estate development deals in the United States and Europe, was away on a business trip when the winning numbers were announced at 10 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14.

About noon Saturday, Dec. 17, his wife sent him for milk and coffee at the Dahl's grocery store on Beaver Avenue, where a banner announced the unclaimed winning Powerball ticket had been sold there.

"I thought that was odd. Why wouldn't you come forward?" Hawkins recalled thinking.

Then he remembered the five $1 tickets he'd bought at the spur of the moment while picking up a six-pack of ginger ale for friends.

After the clerk shouted the news, Hawkins slipped out a side door as TV cameras entered the front door. He quietly took the groceries home to his wife and didn't tell her, saying he didn't want to burden her as she was leaving for a 90-mile trip to Ackley for her mother's birthday party.

At 9:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, he sat her down in the living room rocking chair and handed her newspaper articles about the riddle of the Powerball winner. It's me, he told her.

"I kept saying, 'What? What?' " Schumacher said. "I didn't cry or jump and scream. I kind of went still. It was a shock."

Hawkins said he's still trying to deal with "a rainbow of emotions" himself. But he's certain of one thing: "I will not own an alarm clock from this day forward," he said.

Comments from neighbors and other winners

"Once you spend money, it's gone. It really hasn't changed much for us. You know who your friends are; you'll have new friends. It was a very positive experience. I just finished an eight-year term as mayor. I won because I campaigned hard, not because I won the jackpot."
— Ed Brown, who split a $10.4 million jackpot in December 1992

"Remember that money doesn't mean happiness and doesn't mean things will be easy, although it has been easier to pay bills. Larry got Hodgkin's lymphoma after he won the money, although he's in remission now. We still have some old friends who are the same, but the money has made it difficult to make new friends, to know who to trust. When I travel, I don't wear jewelry or anything flashy because I don't want to look like I have money."
— Sarann Hasken, whose family won $31.8 million in January 2000

"It couldn't happen to a much nicer guy. He's the kind of guy you would like to have for a neighbor. . . . He'll have some fun, but I don't think he'll be driving around with a half-million in the trunk of his Cadillac and going to stripper bars."
— James Peterson, who lives down the block on Franklin Avenue, referring to a previous Powerball winner from West Virginia

"I don't know him, but I do know his mom, and this will be a blessing for the family. It's exciting to see somebody in our neighborhood and in our income bracket that would be lucky enough to win."
— Kathy Jones, another Franklin Avenue resident

"It's wonderful. It makes you think that maybe you've got a better than average chance to win when it's somebody that close to you. I have a feeling, it's just my opinion, that they're going to have a lot of temporary friends wanting to get to know them."
— Paul Huber, who lives across 34th Street

"It'll do him good, that's for sure. But I don't think he's going to give it to the neighbors. What would I do if I won? Probably have a heart attack."
— Joe Hansman, who also lives on 34th

"I'd give some to my church and some to my kids and the rest I'd live on. I don't see how it can help but change their lives."
— Marvin Roemmich, who lives four blocks away on Francis Drive

Des Moines Register

We'd love to see your comments here!  Register for a FREE membership — it takes just a few moments — and you'll be able to post comments here and on any of our forums. If you're already a member, you can Log In to post a comment.

24 comments. Last comment 11 years ago by chameleon530.
Page 1 of 2
Avatar
Coastal Georgia
United States
Member #2653
October 30, 2003
1866 Posts
Offline
Posted: January 4, 2006, 7:40 am - IP Logged

Sometimes......the lottery gods smile on people that are down on their luck.

Congrats !

 

                               

              

 

 

    konane's avatar - wallace
    Atlanta, GA
    United States
    Member #1265
    March 13, 2003
    3333 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: January 4, 2006, 7:59 am - IP Logged

    Couldn't be happier for him and his family especially considering their struggles to where they are now.  Wishing them the best of luck in maintaining a semi-normal lifestyle!!!!  Party

    Good luck to everyone!

      Avatar
      md
      United States
      Member #14047
      April 20, 2005
      579 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: January 4, 2006, 10:48 am - IP Logged

      I love it!  I pray that are wise and happy from this point on.

        Avatar

        United States
        Member #6676
        September 3, 2004
        95 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: January 4, 2006, 11:22 am - IP Logged

        come on baby, make tonight my night!!! and congrats to the winners. i hope he realizes winning the lotto does not make one a successful venture capitalist. caution! gl

         

        Dance

        --winner2b


          United States
          Member #16612
          June 2, 2005
          3493 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: January 4, 2006, 12:59 pm - IP Logged

          I hope this family stays out of bankruptcy because they have won the PB jackpot. Good thing they took the cash option and waited until 1/1/2006. What would have happen if they had gotten the check at 11:59 PM on 12/31/05?

            Avatar
            Indiana
            United States
            Member #29196
            December 29, 2005
            280 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: January 4, 2006, 1:59 pm - IP Logged

            There is just so much fuel for thought in this story and so much to be learned that everyone should read it and take it to heart.

            First one could look at everything Mr Hawkins apparently did right;

            1. He kept the news to himself and his wife withput broadcasting all around town.

            2. He got professional advice from lawyers and financial people.

            3. He developed an exit strategy to protect him and his framily from the myriad of parasites who will come begging from money.

            One may also look at some of the things he may have done wrong.

            1. Having a store clerk validate the ticket wothout knowing it was a winner.  (And of course the store clerk starts screaming the news and the media comes rushing in.

            2. Releasing the names of his wife and children...along with their ages.

            3. Discussing his plans to donate/invest money publicly.

            And of course this story typifies the way the media treats lottery winners.

            1. Digging into his past and publishing information about his bankruptcy his (presumably) former employer, his  (at one time) deliquent child support payments et cetera.

            2. Interviewing his friends and neighbors asking them what kind of guy he was.  What do they expect (or rather hope) the neighbors will say?  The guy was a bum and a rotten neighbor.

            3. Even interviewing former lottery winners asking them what they thought of some (presumably) unknown guy winning the lottery.

            Now the next installment of the story will undoubtedly be when his ex-wife sues him for increased child support.

            The media and indeed the Loteries love stories like this:

            Local bankrupt man wins $100 million.  We'll give you all the latest and have comments from his friends and neighbors plus we'll answer the question; could it happen to you.  Details at 10.

            This story illustrates exactly why lottery winners need to have the right to anonymity. 

            While it may be just interesting reading for some, what's really going on here is the lottery and media exploitation of a man for their own purposes (selling more tickets and newspapers) along with providing information for the plethora of low lifes who make their living mooching off of lottery winners.

            And of course it gives armchair quarterbacks like me a chance to second quess and critique everyone involved.

            Hopefully, we can all learn something from this story. 

            Jim 

             


            Money frees you from doing things you dislike.  Since I dislike doing nearly everything, money is handy.  - Groucho Marx

              fja's avatar - gnome1

              United States
              Member #91
              January 19, 2002
              11932 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: January 4, 2006, 2:46 pm - IP Logged

              I hope this family stays out of bankruptcy because they have won the PB jackpot. Good thing they took the cash option and waited until 1/1/2006. What would have happen if they had gotten the check at 11:59 PM on 12/31/05?

              After going through the bankruptcy experience, not knowing what the future held in store for wife and family, as well as himself.....I'm sure it won't happen again....once you've had that taste you don't ever want to be near it again....

              Great idea on moving before claiming...if even to a temporary address,,,then to an isolated location after that.

                Avatar
                Portland
                United States
                Member #7262
                September 27, 2004
                111 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: January 4, 2006, 2:51 pm - IP Logged

                Congratulations to lovely winning family...
                Come on ...we just continue to dream on , do we ?!...
                He is 44 .. to me, there is a lot of years ahead to wait to be like him now...ec..ec!!
                Can't wait ...hic hic!!!

                  JAP69's avatar - alas
                  South Carolina
                  United States
                  Member #6
                  November 4, 2001
                  8790 Posts
                  Online
                  Posted: January 4, 2006, 6:22 pm - IP Logged

                  Looks like he lived beyond his means.

                  Live a high lifestyle and file bankruptcy.

                  Whatever happened to cash on the barrelhead or you do not get it.

                  The only thing this country is is rich in debt.

                  MAGA

                    weshar75's avatar - Lottery-042.jpg
                    Mcminnville, Oregon
                    United States
                    Member #3013
                    December 13, 2003
                    3052 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: January 4, 2006, 7:10 pm - IP Logged

                    Congrats to the winning family I was hoping that my ticket would have taken home the $113.2 million prize.  There is always tonight for $47 million.  I will be taking the cash option!

                      TheGameGrl's avatar - character catafly.jpg
                      A long and winding road
                      United States
                      Member #17084
                      June 10, 2005
                      4528 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: January 4, 2006, 8:07 pm - IP Logged
                      One of the posters comments: "

                      And of course this story typifies the way the media treats lottery winners.

                      1. Digging into his past and publishing information about his bankruptcy his (presumably) former employer, his  (at one time) deliquent child support payments et cetera

                      2:The store clerk valdiating his ticket (sic)."

                      I read and re-read the news story- no where does it say that he had the store clerk validate the ticket. He merely was at the store that he purchased the ticket and READ the sign .

                      I agree that his ex-wife will appeal to the courts for an increase of payments to child support. Wouldnt doubt if she actually gets a lawsuit claiming half the winnings on the childs behalf.

                      Overall I got quite the giggle of his current spouses re-action when he told her they won! I'm glad they are handling it with the help of financial advisors and media experts! May they be wiser the second time around with their finances :)

                       

                      ~~Is it true, Is it kind,Is it necessary. ~~~

                       Thanks be to the giving numbers: 1621,912,119 02014

                        Ladyluck2005's avatar - underground
                        Denver, CO
                        United States
                        Member #13465
                        April 6, 2005
                        68 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: January 4, 2006, 8:46 pm - IP Logged

                        Congrats to the couple & their families

                        Smile 

                        Lets hope that in a few years there will still be a happy outcome with this family (ex: they still have the money, they didn't go spending on frivolous things, lawsuits, etc.) 

                        Ladyluck2005

                        Blue Angel

                        Carpe Diem

                          Avatar
                          Coastal Georgia
                          United States
                          Member #2653
                          October 30, 2003
                          1866 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: January 4, 2006, 8:49 pm - IP Logged
                          One of the posters comments: "

                          And of course this story typifies the way the media treats lottery winners.

                          1. Digging into his past and publishing information about his bankruptcy his (presumably) former employer, his  (at one time) deliquent child support payments et cetera

                          2:The store clerk valdiating his ticket (sic)."

                          I read and re-read the news story- no where does it say that he had the store clerk validate the ticket. He merely was at the store that he purchased the ticket and READ the sign .

                          I agree that his ex-wife will appeal to the courts for an increase of payments to child support. Wouldnt doubt if she actually gets a lawsuit claiming half the winnings on the childs behalf.

                          Overall I got quite the giggle of his current spouses re-action when he told her they won! I'm glad they are handling it with the help of financial advisors and media experts! May they be wiser the second time around with their finances :)

                           

                          I Agree!  Be wise.  You are very fortunate to have hit this Jackpot while in such dire financial straits. Lady Luck smiled on you .

                           I know you  appreciate it.

                           

                                                         

                                        

                           

                           

                            Avatar
                            Indiana
                            United States
                            Member #29196
                            December 29, 2005
                            280 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: January 4, 2006, 9:42 pm - IP Logged

                            Well I may be mistaken but what it actually said was that he read the sign and then remembered some lottery tickets he had.  Now it is clear at this point that he didn't know he was the winner.

                            The next line in the story said after the clerk shouted out the news the media began rushing in and he exited by a side door.  I could be wrong but I took this to mean:

                            1. He saw the banner proclaiming the store sold the winning ticket.

                            2. He didn't know he was the winner but (I assume) he must have had the tickets on him so he checked them.

                            3. (Again I assume) He had the clerk run the tickets through the machine rather than give him a print out of the winning numbers.  Hence the clerk's reaction and shouting the news to the news-vultures...I mean news-hawks gathered there at the store.  Of course it is possible he got a print out of the winning numbers and then told the clerk he was the winner.

                            I may be wrong but that's the way I read the story.  Myabe I took things too literally but that's what it sounded like to me.

                            Jim 

                             


                            Money frees you from doing things you dislike.  Since I dislike doing nearly everything, money is handy.  - Groucho Marx